Looking For a Great School For Your Child

Every child needs a good education, and responsible parents will look for high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, and even a preschool for their child when they turn old enough. Parents may start looking for a middle or high school for their child when the family moves to a new area, for example, or they may look up local preschools when their young child becomes old enough. The Internet can help with this if parents don’t have in-person references. An online search in a new area such as “good high schools in Dallas TX” or “public middle schools Los Angeles CA” may be searched. The parents may also use their ZIP code to find schools close by, and they may be looking for private or public middle or high schools in particular. There is a difference, and some parents may be very interested with it. What should parents and their kids look for in a new school?

Public VS Private

One thing to note is that public schools and private schools are the two main branches for K-12 American education. What is the difference? Public schools are the most common, and they are federally owned and regulated, as is the material taught in them. These schools are publicly funded and cost very little, if anything, to enroll a student for. By contrast, about 25% of all American schools are the private type. They are privately funded and regulated, hence the name, and tend to charge high tuition for students. This can put them out of reach for many families, but for those who can afford them, these schools can offer an advantage to the students who attend them.

For one thing, statistics show that private school students (about 10% of the student population) tend to move on to college. Private school graduates move on to college just over 90% of the time, much more than the 48% college rate for public high school graduates. This may be partly because private school counselors spend a lot of time preparing the students for college careers. At such schools, the counselors spend 55% of their time on college prep for the students, much more than how public school counselors spend 22% of their time on that service. What is more, trends show that 21% of public school teachers report student apathy as an issue, which compares unfavorably to how only 4% of private school teachers say the same. Around 25% of public school teachers report that a lack of parental involvement is an issue at their school, and only about 3% of private school teachers say the same. For families who can afford private school, the many advantages of those private institutions can be weighed against the tuition costs of enrolling their child there.

A General Search

Whether parents are looking for private or public schools for their children, there are some universal factors to consider when browsing nearby schools. The experience, qualifications, and motivation of teachers and staff can be evaluated, and well-funded schools may have many experienced teachers on staff. This can be a real boon for students. On top of that, parents may check out the clubs, activities, and programs offered at a school. A middle or high school student may have particular interests, such as soccer, a marching band, a dance line, a debate team, or an art program. A school that has these features, and which are well-funded, can be very attractive for the student.

The child’s own input is another major factor here. Whether six or 16 years old, the student should be comfortable at his or her new school, and a week or two should be enough time to determine if a school is the right one for them. A student should be academically challenged but not over or underwhelmed, and the student should be able to get along with others and feel like they belong. A student who is bullied or harassed, or a student who is over or underwhelmed with the school work may be very unhappy, distracted, and stressed. This can interfere with their education, and if these unfortunate things happen, a student can (and probably should) be transferred to a new school sooner than later.

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